The first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was the sole of a cowboy boot on the floor inches from his face. As he pushed himself up, a wave of nausea swept through him, sending him back down. His head hurt. He put his left hand to his temple and recoiled at the resulting stab of pain when he touched the throbbing wet spot. He tried once more to get up, slowly this time, and had managed a sitting position when the smell hit him. It was a foul mixture of earthy metal and body waste. He knew immediately what that meant and struggled to focus, to be alert, defensive. It was then that he noticed the knife in his hand, a butcher knife—a bloody butcher knife. He struggled to his feet and backed away from the man attached to the cowboy boot…
Read the new Matt West novella BY DEVIOUS MEANS
I have a great admiration bordering on a passion for old, rare books–emphasis on old. Rarity is impressive, but age, survival through decades or centuries by even a common book is equally impressive to me. The value of a book is the product of edition, condition, and scarcity. Those criteria apply whether talking about a copy of John Milton’s Paradise Lost or a copy of Marvel Comic‘s Amazing Spider-man. It isn’t the value that attracts me, however; it’s being able to hold an old book in my relatively young hands and have a sense of the time that has passed since it was first made, first held. There is something about the smell of aged paper and ink, the delicate state of the pages, and the voice of the printing carried across the decades or centuries. Read the rest of this entry »
I remember when I saw the movie The Firm (John Grisham) years ago. I was interested in it primarily because it was set in Memphis. I had lived in Memphis for a number of years, but had not seen any movies that had been filmed there or based on Memphis. I thought at the time that I would include Memphis in a book, if I ever wrote one. And so I did.
Memphis has many interesting qualities, but the most interesting to me is the Mississippi River and the waterfront. A slight stretch inland from the waterfront will also encompass the Beale Street district, the next most interesting part of Memphis. I created a location for the purpose of my book. It is a place I would want to have if I lived on the river downtown. Read the rest of this entry »